The celebrated pianist, Gabriele Baldocci has gone where few dare to tread. He has not only released an album of some of Queen’s biggest hits (and, for the fans, some of their most beloved deep cuts) but has approached the tracks in a way only a true fan could, deconstructing them to their very essence and creating works of art which will thrill Queen fans, classical aficionados and indeed anyone with a passion for music. With a live London premiere in the works, Sheer Piano Attack is the perfect encapsulation of Gabriele’s astonishing skill on the piano, his remarkable arrangements and, of course, Queen’s legacy of staggering songs.
Sheer Piano Attack could only ever come from an artist who is a Queen fan to the very core – no fact about the band has gone unrecognised and no note has not been analysed. Featuring tracks from Queen’s first album through to Made in Heaven, as well as tracks from Freddie Mercury’s collaboration with Montserrat Caballé, Gabriele’s interpretations take a considerable musical leap of faith – “What would have happened if, instead of having the music of Wagner and Verdi as his source of inspiration, he instead had Queen?” Combining his love of both classical music and Queen, the results are startling innovative yet completely reverential. Giving three of his friends the task of radically reworking some of Queen’s most intricate works – Bohemian Rhapsody, Innuendo and The Prophet’s Song – the album is revelatory, casting new light on familiar songs and opening up the classical world to those who tend to shy away from it.
Despite coming from a distinctly unmusical family, Gabriele began to play the piano aged six, his classical studies balanced by his father’s impressive collection of prog and rock LPs. Disaster struck when he was seven, developed an auto immune condition called IGA Nephropathy, leading to a life of isolation and sporadic schooling. His escape from this prison was the piano, combining his gift for perfect pitch with the confidence to adapt his style and to improvise. Despite being the victim of bullying on the occasions he was able to attend school, his early life forged him into an indomitable character, ultimately leading to his career as a hugely respected classical pianist and composer. His talent and personality was such that he became a protégé and great friend of Martha Argerich, widely recognised as the greatest living classical pianist, both touring and recording with her.
“My music is a blend of energy, virtuosity, emotional freedom and refined classical training. Classical pianists venturing outside of the classical world are very rare and, even when they play something different, they tend to quote classical composition. My style is completely unique and I like to think that, somehow, I have created a sort of a new music genre which I have just began to explore”
Also featuring the amazing blind vocalist Peter Jones and the opera star Barbara Luccini assisting, this is Queen as you’ve never heard them before.